We had the good fortune of connecting with Gregory Fulks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gregory, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
My work life balance has definitely changed over the years and as it should. – When I first started in my career in videography & Photography I was taking any job I could get… Therefore it was tough to commit to plans with friends because at any moment a paying job could arise and I felt as if I needed to take it. . – Now days i’m able to set aside days on my calendar and plan for things that I want to do with friends and family. I’m also able to say no to a lot more roles that don’t aline with my goals. – Doing so I’ve set a standard for my work to where I can put in the quality time needed while not spreading myself too thin. – There are weeks when I’m extra busy working 10-15 hour days but those usually only last for 2-5 days and then afterwards I can celebrate with some time off. – One of the big pros or benefits with my job is that I’m able to choose the people I work with so usually I hire one of my good friends to help me on shoots. Not only am I creating a better final product but I’m also spending time with people that make working more exciting and fun.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
3 key focus points I aim for which set me apart are
1. “Realness” I try to capture things as they are happening, and share the emotion. I love dialogue that helps carry a story so always being ready to film at all times I feel is very important because most of the times the best moments are unplanned and unpredictable.
2. “Cinematic” Capturing stories that flow well, are visually stimulating and that tell a good story. You can say a lot just by how you frame a shot so I do my best to be mindful of how I’m shooting, what perspective I want to capture and what kinds of B-roll I add to a video.
3. “Hustle” I love shooting with athletes so in order to make the best of the time I have and to keep up with people who are always moving is to make sure I’m not slacking off and by putting forth all the energy I can to get the best shots possible.
I’m most excited for traveling and being in different cultures (on a bit of a setback with covid). My favorite thus far has been Nicaragua which I’ve taken 3 trips to in the past year. Shooting for a Surf retreat called “Rise Up Surf Retreats.” You can find info on that at www.riseupsurfretreats.com or on their instagram @riseupsurretreats. Awesome week long trip for any surf level even those that have never surfed before.
I’ve learned that the best way to get gigs is to be a good person since most of my jobs are referrals. Also to shoot the things you want to shoot or want to be shooting because those are the kinds of jobs that are going to keep coming up and they end up being the most fulfilling and rewarding.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Here is a list of things I would do (not all in one day). I love coffee and finding new coffee shops is exciting to me. Here is a few coffee shops I would include and why. Mozarts: It’s a beautiful coffee shop on the the lake with a lot of outdoor seating, good wifi and bottomless coffee drinks. Great place to spend a few hours working and its dog friendly. Perfect for an evening hang since the sun sets right over the lake. Cosmic coffee: Really cool outdoor environment that also serves great drinks and really good food trucks “GET THE TACOS,” if you’re into that kind of thing. Dog friendly as well. The lake! Don’t go to austin without connecting with someone who has a boat if you don’t know anyone then connect with “Float On.” They offer boat rentals on lake austin & lake travis for a great affordable price. online at www.rentalboataustin.com. On instagram @floatonboatrentals. They won’t disappoint! Outdoor actives: Get out to Zilker park and play some soccer. There is a really cool group called “Sphere” you can connect with them on instagram @sphere.club and join for some free, fun, and friendly games throughout the week and weekend. Not only in Austin, you can find them expanding to other cites as well. Go for a run or a bike around town lake. Great trail with plenty to look at. Make sure to grab some BBQ while you are in town (if you are vegan, you will probably love “Flower Child” or “Bouldin Creek Cafe”). Good BBQ options include Franklins, Rudys, Blacks, and Stubbs just to name a few. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you decide. If you want to shop at unique fun stores or get a good city walk in I highly recommend checking out the shops on South Congress and while you are down there stop by Hopdoody, One of my favorite burger shops in town! I love to dance and it does not matter what level you are at, “Melody Dance Fit” is a great way to meet folks and get a great cardio workout in! Super fun ubeat class with an incredible instructor! Online at www.melodydancfit.com and on instagram @melody_dancefit. For a more advanced hip-hop class I recommend going to one of Erick Yanez classes www.erickyanezzz.com and on instagram @erickyanezzz To round off the list I’d say make your way to the greenbelt. One of the greatest things about Austin in my opinion is that it has plenty of outdoor nature actives that are within 3-10 min of downtown. You can find MTB trails, Rock climbing walls, and swimming spots (like Barton Springs) that are all worth experiencing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been plenty of people that have influenced and inspired me. Especially those that I’ve learned with over the years. A few of those people are Joe Na, Zac Zlatic, David Wells, and Abe Kislevitz. I’ll go over each briefly and the roles they played starting with Joe Na. We met in college at UC Davis and at the time there were not many photographers/videographers around. It was in 2010, pre instagram days. I spotted Joe taking photos at one of the gymnastic meets and right away I wanted to meet this guy! We ended up becoming friends and have been working together on projects that past 10 years. He currently works for the NFL and MLB, which between the two seasons takes up most of his time… Check him out on Instagram @Joenagraphy and you can see some pretty cool stuff and even some behind the scenes. Next is Zac Zlatic, we were roommates in college and then moved to Austin Texas together in 2014. We both got the same cameras and went from making GoPro videos to shooting with DSLR’s. We both currently create videos full time, and work together when we are able to. If you are looking for an amazing product video! Then he is your guy, check him out on Instagram @double.zee and you’ll get an inside look at how he creates his videos. David Wells has been the one person that I’ve spent the most time with the past few years. When I first moved to Austin in 2014, him and I both had our fist day of work on the same day. David was new to videography and I taught him what I knew from the few years I had shooting. David picked it up quick and soon developed his own unique style. Now days David and I shoot together at least a few times a month. He specializes in creating short films and capturing a cinematic feel to tell any story in a beautiful way. Instagram handle @go_dwells. Lastly Abe Kislevitz, he has been an inspiration of mine ever since I got my first GoPro. I would watch his life through Instagram and marvel at the videos and photos he created. Eventually Abe and I met after being IG friends for a couple years and he showed me around the GoPro office, where he works, with two of my friends, Zac & Danny in San Diego. Ever since then we have stayed in touch and get together for fun events throughout the year including ski and surf trips, music festivals like Coachella and the occasional hangout in SD when I’m around. He is definitely one of, if not the best GoPro creator out there! If you want to see for yourself, check out his life on instagram @abekislevitz and on youtube.
Image credit: Lauren parks: IG @gratefullylauren Joe Na: IG @Joenagraphy